One of the key aspects of the Elmwood experience is that we encourage girls to take advantage of opportunities to develop leadership skills. This can be done through various formal and informal initiatives and events. This week’s newsletter highlights three such opportunities: a Junior School student took action by making a presentation at assembly about the film “Hidden Figures,” a Senior School student with a formal leadership role, Head of Fry House, developed and organized a new House event, “Tacos and Trivia,” and an Elmwood alumna is playing a key role as the Senior Manager of Stakeholder Relations for an important sporting event coming to Canada. All three are examples of young women developing, refining and demonstrating their leadership skills.
The Washington Post ran an article last week called ‘Want to Raise Empowered Women, Start in Middle School’ and I think it contains some useful advice for parents on how to help their daughters gain confidence, respond to feedback, be resilient and how to self-advocate. Many of the strategies outlined in the article are linked to opportunities that we create for the girls. One of the pieces of advice that stood out to me was to encourage girls to own their success. The article states, “Parents can reassure girls that it’s not immodest to have confidence and to know their own worth.” Elmwood girls get feedback often—from their teachers, parents and peers—but it is important for them to also take stock of their own skills and hard work, and be proud of their accomplishments. I hope our girls highlighted in our “Time to Shine” features do just that!
Everyone at Elmwood benefits when girls and alumnae share their leadership skills. The younger girls see role models, the older girls and alumnae have an opportunity to be mentors, and the whole community benefits when girls can develop their ideas and skills, take risks and lead the way.